I’ve not been able to get Alborz story out of my mind since as it’s a brilliant example of what is possible with blogging – but also resonates with my own story and approach. Today I’d just quickly like to pull out a few of the threads of the conversation in that interview that I think were important (there were many more but these resonated most with me):
Passion for Topic
It is totally possible to blog successfully and profitably on a topic that you have little or no interest in – but Alborz is so obviously passionate about his topic and I believe it is key to attracting a readership who shared his passion.
Transparency and Honesty
umerous times during the call Alborz talked of ‘telling it like it is’ on his blog. If a car that he’s reviewing is bad – he calls it bad, whether the car maker is a sponsor of his blog or not. This is another aspect of his blog that I’m sure has drawn readership to him as they know they are getting an honest review.
While Alborz talked of things like SEO, promoting his blog to other bloggers and other promotional activities – he said time and time again that he was mainly interested in high quality content. Even in times when his site disappeared from Google he wasn’t distracted from his primary task of producing engaging content.
Exploiting the Weaknesses of Mainstream Media (Light-footedness)
I loved the way that Alborz talked about taking on the ‘big boys’ in his niche here in Australia. He spoke about coming home from car shows and posting news that very night and how the MSM sites would not publish articles for a day or two (either because of their processes or just because they didn’t work at night). This highlights the power of individual and smaller publishers to break news and beat the large players at their own game. I think the more that bloggers take advantage of the fact that they can do what they like without editorial approval and get content published fast the better.
Once again – a great interview if you’ve got a spare 45 minutes or so.
PS: one other thing that I liked about the approach that Alborz took was that he started out with three blogs on three topics and played with each of them until I worked out which one to focus upon.
I’ve talked about this a few times in interviews lately as being something that I did. At one point I blogged on 20 or so blogs on a variety of topics. Part of this was to see what topics worked and which I enjoyed most. I think choosing 3 topics like Alborz did is probably a better idea than 20 but the same thing applies. In the process of blogging on all three he got a sense for what his niche should be. Once he decided upon a niche he ditched the others and focused in upon his main passion – cars.
I think that this is a great way to choose a topic to write about.